Tick

Tick tick tick tick. Stay this moment, you are so fair.

The clock ticks along the rhythm of life, the same measured amounts, eternally portioned out one at a time. That is all we have really. This second. It’s a cliché, I know, but how often do we all forget the obvious?

Some years ago, a woman at my church lost her husband. He was a tender, kind man, happy and loved by many. She was very little of those things. She was well loved, but not for any soft qualities. He had cared for her, treating her like a princess for all of their life together but it was not until his illness that she learned to care for him. She learned tenderness by force; learned to tend to someone else by sheer necessity of human need. But she learned well.

He died. We all wept. She was lost.

She, too, was sick and it was only a matter of months before it was obvious that she would not live much longer. Leaving worship one Sunday she said to me. “What is that song, Preacher? One Day At A Time Sweet Jesus? Well, I can barely handle that.” “Sometimes,” I said, “it’s just one hour at a time.”

But I was over generous really. It is only this unforgiving, forward charging minute, this tiny second in which we live.

The day she died I was there along with her entire family. She lay in the bed right next to the big picture window. I had my hand on her head and arm. We all prayed. Her breaths so slow it seemed that time arched out between each one, barely holding them together. I lifted my hand from her head. She breathed out one last time.

We had never gotten along. She had never been sure of “lady preachers” and she wasn’t the sort to temper her tongue with sugar for the sake of peace. I was half acceptable because of my paternal Madison County pedigree. But only half. Her words were often sharp and cut me more than once and, to be fair, it is possible I was not always as kind and gracious to her as I could have been.

And yet here I was, right here at this last second and that at her own bidding. All I could think was to hold tight to these little moments right here. This tiny second. And this. And this and this. And say: stay this moment, you are so fair.

 

‘Stay this moment’ is a quote from the diary of Virginia Woolf. More importantly to me, it is also the title of a book of photography by Sam Abell, my life long favorite photographer.

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Much To Write, Too Little Time

I have much to write and too little time in which to do it!

Two books to write about: Room (which I could not complete, but I want to say why) and The Wide Sargasso Sea. The latter was I book I had convinced myself I had read already but had, in truth, not even cracked the cover. It was very good, dreamy, strange and ever so slightly mad.

I am in The Big City visiting my mother and have found the city itself to be less irritating than usual. The local news is, as always, comically horrific and will always be my greatest grievance against my own home town.

So much to write and so little time! Because of this, I have considered combining a couple of my blogs. Recently, I put Random Act of Grace on hiatus because I was ultimately neglecting it in a way I did not wish to do. However, it is the blog that has the most readers, possibly because of both the art/craft content and the Steampunk content. It is my plan to, perhaps, merge these two into a new blog altogether–including merging all old content. It is not difficult to do, of course, I just have to decide if I can stand so much boundary merging!

Also, I canned a dozen jars of plum pluot preserves last week and have more things I wish to do. It is getting cooler–only a bit but still–and that makes canning a whole lot more pleasant. So much life to do and so little time!

New Year

Happy New Year. No exclamation point. Just happy new year. It’s not that I am not excited about it. I’m just not feeling like shouting about it.  I will leave that to everyone else and perhaps I’ll feel more like shouting later.

New Year’s resolutions or plans or whatever for the upcoming year have always been a fun and at least partially productive activity for me. So, here goes:

1. Loose weight.  Yeah, I know, it’s cliche. I’ve tried putting it on the list with no result. I’ve tried leaving it off the list with no result. I’m back to trying it on the list again.

2. Read more. I read all the time. Books, magazines, blogs, websites, emails. All the time. It’s part of my job to read. But I miss fiction. Not just fiction but reading because I want to read. I received an autobiography by Tony Blair for Christmas that I really want to read right now….this very moment….while I’m typing.  So, resolution 2 is read more.

3. See more movies. Silly by some people’s standards but movies have always been a truly joyful part of my life. Over the past few years I have not been able to see as many mostly because I do not have as many people with which to see them. I shall persevere and see more this year.

4. Go to the gym. Yeah, I know, again. It could be related to item 1 but it’s actually not. I need to start going to the gym again or I’ll go crazy.

5. Blog more. I currently have four personal blogs and one church blog. I love them. They are a fantastic outlet for words and pictures. I love where I live and write about it here. I love to take pictures and post them at Mental Scrapbook. I love to make things and give them away and post about that at Random Act of Grace and I love to talk about God, the church and all kinds of stuff to which they relate and I post about them at Shepherdess Writes. I want to do more consistent writing, more book reviews and share more photography.

6. Make more stuff. This is perhaps the most fulfilling part of my life. I’m sure some psychologist would say it’s because I don’t have children. Ok. I don’t care, maybe it is. But I love it and I’ve felt better, healthier, less stressed and more creative the more I make. So that includes knitting, sewing, photography and mixed media projects.

7. Spend less time playing games on Facebook. I will not say ‘spend less time on Facebook’ because my dearest friends live all over the country and if I want to remain connected to them I need to do something like FB.  I am not good at making phone calls. I actually do not like the phone. But FB works. Just want to stay away from those time-sucking games. I would say spend less time watching TV but unlike a whole lot of people, I really watch very little.

8. Find a clock with more than 24 hours in it. Seriously, I’ll need to if I want to do more of these things.

9. See my life as a treasure. Wanting more than 24 hours in a day can be for one of two reasons: 1-poor time management and too much to do. 2-life is so good and full and purposeful that you just plain want more of it every single day.   I want it to be the latter.

10. Spend more time with people. I spend a lot of professional time with people but I don’t really spend personal time. It is ironic because very little of my life has hard boundary lines but this seems to be one of the areas in which I make some sort of bright line between personal and professional time so I feel the professional time tank is low and the personal time tank is too full. Out of balance. Like carrying two buckets of water when one is really heavy and one is really light. Need to share more from the heavy bucket.

Ok, it is a pretty lame, pretty ordinary set of resolutions. But you know what? I’m ok with that.  I’ve spent a lot of my life being unintentionally not so ordinary.  The truth is that I can’t save the world (even one relationship at a time), I can’t undo the past mistakes I’ve made, I can’t undo the things that have happened to me, can’t start a revolution or even stop the negative ideas of someone else. But I can do something about me. Here and now.

So I’m posting this, going over to someone’s house to drink Mimosas and this evening I’m opening that Tony Blair book. It’s a start.